Written In Stone

TITLE: ASSEMBLING CALIFORNIA

AUTHOR: JOHN McPHEE

PUBLISHER: FARRAR, STRAUS & GIROUX; 304 PAGES; $21

THE BOTTOM LINE: A peripatetic author proves that geology can be a page turner.

ASSEMBLING CALIFORNIA IS THE fourth and final volume of John McPhee's "Annals of the Former World" series, his reports on the new geology that began running in the New Yorker back in the Shawnian Era. That was before the Albion Shift uplifted Tina Brown from London and thrust her toward Manhattan, where she eventually docked as the magazine's new editor.

McPhee concluded his project at a good time. Brown's interests are topical, not...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!